One of my nephews loves Raspberry Pie, but I had never made one until now. A friend of the family made one for him at some point, but neither his Mom nor I had taken one on. Frankly, most pictures I see of Raspberry Pie look gross to me - usually a soupy soggy mess. That's probably what kept me from trying it before. After looking at dozens of recipes, I finally pulled together the characteristics I liked, threw in some chilies to play against the sweet of the sugar and berries, and opted for a coconut macaroon crust, because most of us love coconut, his Dad doesn't like pie crust, and I figured if it ended up soupy at all, I'd rather have juicy coconut than soggy pie crust!
½ c super fine sugar ¾ c sugar
¼ t cream of tartar 1 t granulated Pasilla chilies
¼ t salt ¼ t salt
4 lg egg whites 3 T cornstarch
½ t almond extract 3 c frozen raspberries
14 oz sweetened flaked coconut ⅔ c water
zest of 1 small lemon
GARNISH: 3 T butter
Fresh Berries 1 t vanilla
White Chocolate Chips 6 oz container fresh raspberries
For the crust ...
Whisk together the sugar, cream of tartar, salt, whites, and extract until foamy, then fold in the coconut until nicely coated in the egg mixture.
Transfer to lightly sprayed 9.5” pie plate, lightly pressing into the bottom and up the sides.
Bake at 350° until golden (40-50”). If the edges start to brown quickly, just tear a few strips of foil and lay them across to prevent burning. Note the light circle around mine - I cut the strips wider than necessary, so it shielded more of the crust than I had intended. Not a biggie, but something to keep in mind if you want yours extra toasty.
Allow to cool completely before filling.
NOTE: I set the bag of coconut inside my pie plate to determine how much I needed. It looked like it wouldn’t be quite enough for the deep dish I was using, so I added a few ounces. As it turned out, that wasn’t necessary. Stick with the 14 oz. If you use less than that, you might end up with a crunchy crust.
For the filling …
In a medium saucepan, whisk together the sugar, chilies, salt, and cornstarch. Add the frozen raspberries and water. Use your whisk to stir frequently, while bringing the mixture up to a boil. Add the lemon zest and continue stirring for about a minute to thicken. The whisk will crush the raspberries as you stir.
Once thickened, remove from heat and set aside to cool. You want to be able to fold in the fresh berries without the heat breaking them down. You also want it to cool so that it’s thick enough not to run through your crust when you fill it.
NOTE: If the seeds are a problem for you, when you first take the pot off the stove, strain the mixture through a fine meshed sieve.
Now that your filling has cooled, gently fold in the fresh raspberries and pour into your cooled crust.
Refrigerate to set. When you take your pie out of the fridge depends on whether you want it cold or at room temp. I wanted mine at room temp, so I took it out at the start of dinner to make sure that by the time we ate, digested, and were ready for dessert, it wouldn't be cold. A cold raspberry pie sounds great for summer, but not so much for Christmas night!
Top with fresh berries. For the drizzle, just melt a small handful of white chocolate chips with a bit of cream and use a fork or spoon to scatter it over the berries.
The pie was a big hit, with the only criticism being as I said ... a crust a little on the thick side. I was actually nervous about this one because I have no idea where my nephew originally had raspberry pie to know what his expectation would be. I was on pins and needles until he dove into it. And he went home with what was left in the plate - no thought of asking if anyone else wanted a slice. That's a sign of a good pie!!